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Breakin' All the Rules (2004)


Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 86
Fresh: 27
Rotten: 59

Critics Consensus: This formulaic screwball comedy is weighed down by a contrived, overly complicated plot.

Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 31
Fresh: 11
Rotten: 20

Critics Consensus: This formulaic screwball comedy is weighed down by a contrived, overly complicated plot.


Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 11,032


Movie Info

A man who writes the book on ending a romance runs into rough sledding while starting a new one in this comedy. Quincy (Jamie Foxx) is a magazine editor whose life takes an unexpected turn for the worse when his fiancée, Helen (Bianca Lawson), decides to give him some interesting news at their engagement party -- she's breaking up with him. A few days later, Quincy's boss, Phillip (Peter MacNicol), gives him the task of cutting manpower in his department by 15 percent; too emotionally beaten to … More

PG-13 (adult situations)
Comedy , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
Daniel Taplitz
In Theaters:
Oct 12, 2004
Box Office:
Screen Gems - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Breakin' All the Rules

All Critics (93) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (59) | DVD (15)

... this is basically just a sitcom.

Full Review… | May 17, 2004
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

No movie this stupid should need a plot synopsis this complicated.

Full Review… | May 14, 2004
Washington Post
Top Critic

A movie that sags and drags under the weight of poor pacing, execrable writing and largely unlikable characters, including a leading man viewers can never really warm up to.

Full Review… | May 14, 2004
Washington Post
Top Critic

A cleverly concocted hybrid of conventional romantic comedy and mistaken-identity farce.

Full Review… | May 14, 2004
Top Critic

If the movie were 10 minutes longer, the mix-ups might grind viewers down, but director Daniel Taplitz knows how to juggle the subplots he's given.

Full Review… | May 14, 2004
USA Today
Top Critic

In many ways a throwback to the era of Doris Day and Jack Lemmon movies.

Full Review… | May 14, 2004
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Not much worth seeing in this mess of a movie.

Full Review… | December 22, 2010
Common Sense Media

...may be fluff, but it is patient, character-driven fluff.

Full Review… | July 25, 2005

Digresses into that hazy zone where we're not sure if we're watching overwrought drama or a joke that just isn't funny.

September 16, 2004
Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)

it's all very silly and highly unbelievable, but the five main leads are all having a good time.

Full Review… | June 1, 2004

With a little more polish, Daniel Taplitz's quick-witted romantic comedy might have lived happily ever after.

Full Review… | May 27, 2004

A good cast tries to rescue a bad script.

Full Review… | May 25, 2004
Entertainment Spectrum

Breakin' All the Rules doesn't break any rules at all. It's just a by-the-numbers romantic comedy.

Full Review… | May 22, 2004
Internet Reviews

...the comedy never tried to stretch beyond being common.

Full Review… | May 20, 2004
Talking Pictures (U.S.)

Everybody involved in Breakin' All the Rules -- especially the audience -- deserves something more than this tedious excuse for a movie.

Full Review… | May 19, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

All the performers deserve better than this.

Full Review… | May 18, 2004
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

sticks to the rules of too many lame sitcoms and unfunny comedies past, which the doomed actors follow like lemmings off a cliff

Full Review… | May 18, 2004

If one movie could prove once and for all that dating is a blight on humanity, this dismal, depressing flick could be it.

Full Review… | May 18, 2004
Flick Filosopher

Breakin' transcends cliches thanks to Jamie Foxx's irreverence and charm

Full Review… | May 17, 2004
Washington Times

Laden with misunderstandings, contrived situations, and terrible characterizations. Even Foxx's charisma can't save this one.

Full Review… | May 17, 2004

Foxx , Union, Chestnut and MacNicol deserve to be A-list stars much more than any Tom (Cruise), Dick (Gere) or Halle (Berry).

Full Review… | May 17, 2004
Roanoke Times (Virginia)

A black-cast romantic comedy that derives its humor from character and plot development rather than from cliched notions of race-based uproariousness...

May 17, 2004
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Foxx and friends are broken by this laughless comedy

Full Review… | May 16, 2004

How is Breakin' All the Rules different from all the countless other romantic comedies specializing in misunderstandings and mistaken identities? It isn't.

Full Review… | May 15, 2004

A leaden daisy-chain of mistaken identity that holds the interest of the characters much longer than it does the audience's in watching it or mine in explaining it.

May 15, 2004
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

Audience Reviews for Breakin' All the Rules

The story is half decent, although I think a lot of these films, waste time on film which is just modelling shots. So they found it tough to fit the rest of the story in. But it works, no complaints. Funny !

Alexander Wilson

Super Reviewer


Jamie Foxx is hilarious.

Al S

Super Reviewer

Jamie Foxx and Gabrielle Union headline a very funny romantic company. The chemistry between these two is genuine. "Breakin' All The Rules" is a film about mistaken identities gone wild. While the relationship between Foxx and Union is the other relationships turn out are not...making you stick around until the end. The movie doesn't waste time...starting out with Foxx's character Quincy getting dumped by his girlfriend. Quincy then writes a successful how-to book on breaking up and that sets off a chain reaction that will keep you in your seat until the end.

George Kiriyama

Super Reviewer

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